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Ford City man gets French Legion of Honor

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By Mitch Fryer
Saturday, April 2, 2011

FORD CITY -- World War II U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John Kozlosky, 91, of Ford City, has been awarded a special Presidential citation, the Bronze Star, Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters, an ex-POW award and the French Medal of Jubilee.

Kozlosky can now add the French Legion of Honor medal to that list.

During a ceremony at his home today Kozlosky was presented with the medal by a member of the French Consul for Western Pennsylvania in the name of the president of France for his contribution to the Liberation of France during World War II.

The medal was 67 years in coming.

It also took Kozlosky two years of paperwork since 2009 going back and forth between the French and United States governments to make it happen.

"It didn't take me that long to get over to Europe, help liberate Paris and get back home," said Kozlosky.

Kozlosky is honored to be receiving the French medal.

"I'm not the only one getting it -- a lot of guys deserved it," he said. "It took a long time, but I'm satisfied that I'm finally getting this honor."

Kozlosky was with Company C, 112th Infantry, 28 Division and he took part in the Battle of the Bulge and fought across France, Normandy, Belgium, Luxemburg and on to Germany.

He was wounded several times during the campaign and survived a capture by German troops and a stay in a POW camp and German hospital.

He was transferred to Stalag 11B, a prison camp holding 5,000 American, British, Canadian and Russian troops. As the highest ranking enlisted man in his barracks he was in charge of 300 American POWs.

Kozlosky was freed from the German prison in April 1945 by British troops sent to liberate the camp. He was then transferred to a military hospital in England for further treatment.

Kozlosky is retired from PPG Industries and resides in Ford City.

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